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Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

Well, I don’t think that’s technically true but a recent post of Gordon‘s reminded me that Amazon have a lovely little (searchable) section of free downloads.

Last Christmas I spent a rather enjoyable day downloading lots of children’s music, burned them to cd, made personalised sleeves with PhotoShop and gave them to the children. And yes, they were more delighted with those than the expensive clothes and toys also on offer.

Mind you, people in glass houses and all that. To this day my mother has not forgiven me for an incident that happened in 1968. She’d scrimped and saved the whole year to buy a beautiful pram from the posh toy shop in the high street. My grandmother made blankets and a quilt while my father made a beautiful wooden crib, painted in the same racing green to match. On Christmas Eve my grandmother suggested that they ought to put a doll in the pram to set it off so my poor mother hotfooted it down to the market, bought the cheapest doll she could find and late that night they laid everything out under the tree, bursting with excitement at seeing my face the following morning.

Allegedly I came down the stairs, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, went to the pram, pulled the doll out, exclaiming “Dolly!” and played with her for the rest of the day, ignoring the pram and crib. Sorry mam.

But I digress. The Amazon downloads are just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many excellent, free resources out there on ‘t net. I keep bookmarking them but it’s about time I got my arse in gear and shared them so as of today there’s a new category, imaginatively entitled “Freebies” and to kick it off we have the Amazon link above plus:

The amazing Aurgasm. From hip hop to ballad, from indie to jazz, Aurgasm has an excellent record (pun intended) of giving us reviews and tracks from artists you’d never have come across otherwise.

I’m sure I’ve linked to 3hive before but it’s an excellent blog so merits a second mention. Here’s a recent post:

Available in its entirety for free download from Bipolar Productions, Bill Patton‘s cleverly fragile debut album Gets It On is looking for a good home. Part Neal Young from the “Sugar Mountain” days, part Dashiell Hammet meets Nick Drake (the title “A Crimefighter Who Pities Fools” should say enough), Patton’s sparse arrangements, with mumbled vocals and piercing pedal steel guitar, are about as emotive as you can get. Try two originals (especially “Dirty Woman”) and two covers — yes, from the Beatles and Prince — to get a handle on his unique sound and, of course, to enjoy.

The only trouble is that both sites introduce you to such good music it’s almost impossible not to go looking to buy the cd and you’ll need plenty of self discipline to resist. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Moving into a greyer area, have you come across g2p? It’s the lazy (wo)man’s way of finding mp3s (and ebooks/pdfs) via google. I’ve used it a couple of times to locate deleted jazz tracks and it’s a bit hit n miss but worth a try if you have the patience.

(Yet another) digression: Is anyone else getting a huge increase in spam mail? I’m getting hammered at the minute. Should we coin a new term for being hammered by spammers? Spammered?

Later that same night… I should have googled that first.

2 Responses to “Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”

  1. Em³
    May 18th, 2006 21:14
    1

    Thanks, as usual, for the links. My GMail tells me I’ve had 4,207 spam mails in the last 30 days. Is that a lot? It seems to be fairly constant (+/- 500).

    My photoblog’s started to be hit by spammers, unfortunately. I wonder whether there’s a version of Askimet for PixelPost …

  2. Pewari
    May 18th, 2006 22:34
    2

    I am getting an alarming amount of spam comments and spam emails. Haven’t kept track of the spam emails, but currently getting at least 100 spam comments on the blog a day. Scary.

    Thank god for Akismet which at least makes it a bit more manageable.

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